By Daniel Libit
On January 26, 2015, Craig Neal went to Santa Fe to collect a check.
At a press conference in the rotunda of The Roundhouse, Gov. Susana Martinez presented the University of New Mexico men’s basketball coach with a $10,000 donation to the “Pink Pack,” a cancer charity founded by Hugh Greenwood, the Lobos’ starting guard.
The next day, a photograph from the ceremony appeared, below-the-fold, on the front of the Albuquerque Journal’s sports section.
The image showed the governor and the coach standing face-to-face, staring intently into each other’s eyes: Neal’s right hand rests insouciantly on Martinez’s left shoulder, as she gazes up at him with a tight-lipped smile.
The picture captured, among other things, an increasingly rare sign of comity between the state’s chief executive and its largest university. But Neal was a special exception. Continue reading “The Petty Politics of Loboland”
By Daniel Libit
According to its official slogan, the University of New Mexico Foundation is, “Where generosity meets excellence.”
Left unstated, however, is that the Foundation is also where generosity meets secrecy.
Actually, that might have once been stated rather explicitly. A 2015 Columbia Journalism Review article reported that the UNM Foundation’s website once advertised the following benefit to donors:
“[g]reater assurance of … confidentiality, since [it] is a separate not-for-profit corporation and not subject to open records laws.”
Curiously, those words no longer appear online, but the ethos of obfuscation continues to abound — for now.
This week, in Bernalillo County Court, I filed the very first open records lawsuit against the Foundation. Continue reading “Why We’re Suing the UNM Foundation”
By Daniel Libit
HUNT, Texas — On Dec. 14, 2015, Cody Hopkins, the former University of New Mexico men’s basketball operations director, pulled up to the crossing-guard gate of La Hacienda Treatment Center, 80 miles northwest of San Antonio.
Tucked away on a remote, limestone shelf in the Texas Hill Country, Hopkins would try to make sense of a year that had fallen off a cliff. There would be no alcohol here. There would be no cell phone. And, ever mercifully, there would be no Purchasing Card statements.
Hopkins hoped that his arrival here marked the rock-bottom of his descent, the point where he could begin to climb out of the hole. And he was led to believe that UNM, his current employer, was behind him in this effort — or, at the very least, not against him.
But on Dec. 22, eight days into his treatment, Hopkins decided to check back in with the rest of the world. For the first time since he entered La Hacienda, he logged onto a computer — one with lumbering, dial-up Internet — to see if he could catch the score of the UNM-Auburn game at the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii. Best he could figure was to find it on the Twitter feed of Geoff Grammer, the Albuquerque Journal Lobos beat reporter, where instead he discovered this: Continue reading “The Reconciliation of Cody Hopkins”